Sunday, 17 June 2012

Chill Out Time: 2nd Trip To Mudan Reservoir

I left the apartment building this morning at 5.15am and arrived at Shihmen village in southern Pingtung County just before 8am, which is very good time - I only stopped twice: once for gas and once for coffee and a quick bite to eat. As with the previous trip to Mudan reservoir a couple of weeks ago I took a lot of pictures that simply will not make it into the essay. So, since that essay won't be finished for a little while yet (writing these things is both more difficult and more enjoyable than you might imagine), I thought I'd post some of them here...

This is a view south-eastwards over the Donggang river (東港溪), just before Jiadong (佳冬), a minor district in Pingtung County which is lodged in my mind only because it is to the immediate north of Fangliao (枋寮) district, which is my two-hour milestone on the drive down south. Early morning really is the best time to photo the mountains when looking east, in order to catch the rising sun behind them. This image is cropped with the brightness reduced slightly.

This next image shows Lamay island (小琉球) just out across the Strait from Shihzih (獅子) district to the south of Fangliao. I took this while stopping to feed my refrigerated coffee habit. This image is also cropped, and the contrast enhanced just a touch.

The reservoir itself. This picture was taken from just north of the reservoir's mid-way point looking back south towards the dam at sometime after 8am. The clouds to the left of the image were the leading edge of a cumulonimbus formation that was being blown in from the tropical depression out east in the Pacific. Thankfully, they quite soon began to dissipate and I wasn't troubled with the threat of rain at any point.

Another picture of the reservoir, this time looking out eastwards just before the northern inlet. Notice anybody in this picture?

Two aborigine lads swimming out with fish boxes floating with them, whilst another lad and maybe his mother talk on the shore. It was a strange sight; if they had a net on the other side, then they could have simply walked around, so it occured to me that they might have a net attached to their belts hanging between them, and are swimming between the shores (well out of sight of the dam) in order to drag the net forward behind them. This would make a strange kind of sense for two reasons: first, one of them seemed to have a life-ring buoy attached to him and both were swimming a gentle breast-stroke trying not to break the surface (so they may have been trying to avoid disturbing the fish, e.g. nocturnal catfish); second, fishing is illegal in the reservoir and they presumably wouldn't want to get caught trying to haul a couple of boats up the road with them. I might be wrong, but if I'm right it's an interesting method.

I was joined briefly by a Crested Serpent Eagle while standing on the ridge on 199 to photo the reservoir's dam. I only managed a couple of shots before he banked into a dive to catch something among the undergrowth. I love those birds, they're absolutely magnificent. I have lots more pictures of the scenery and buildings and so on (and of course, from the first trip a couple of weeks back too), but that'll have to do for now.

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